DON’T GIVE UP ON GOD!

DON’T GIVE UP ON GOD! You may want to toss in the towel, but don’t do it yet.

I’m not a paragon of virtue, but I’m still standing!  I’ve been criticized, gossiped about, bullied, slapped in the face, and passed over for positions that should have been mine.  Fighting feelings of inadequacy & inferiority have well nigh brought me to the darkness of the unnerved, scared and  frightful.  I’ve prayed for help when God didn’t seem to be interested in listening.

There was a time when I fell on my face crying my eyes out. My heart ached with abject poverty, but I never gave up!

On April 6, 2017, the Syrians were hit with 39 missiles that they could not see; seemed they came out of nowhere.

Get this, and let it sink deep into your thinking: you are at WAR, even though you cannot see who or what is attacking you! It is a spiritual war! You will either conquer through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, or you will be conquered by that creature called Satan. You can’t physically see him, but you have, are and will be brooded over with uncanny temptations that you never saw coming. “Our fight is not against people on earth but against … the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.”‭‭  Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬

1. You are tempted to just give up saying, “This is too big for me – it’s out of my league.”

2. You may say, “War? What war?”

3. Or, “I’m a lover, not a fighter.” Hahaha!

4. You may say, “Hey man, I can’t even solve the issues I can see, much less the ones I can’t.”

I’m going to guarantee you that someday – probably now – you will be hit up beside the head with some temptation or situation or event in your life that will literally knock you off your high-horse. It may be betrayal, money, sexual, physical, or it may be some thought or destructive idea that will literally turn your world upside down. You had better be prepared because you won’t even see it coming!

Your ONLY hope is in the blood sacrifice of Jesus the Son of God who is God in the flesh! By dropping your heart into His hands:

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:17‬ (kjv)

“The battles of spiritual warfare are intense when you decide to accept Jesus as your Savior. The enemy will attack from all angles, hoping to dissuade you from fully giving your heart & life to Jesus. He will use circumstances, events, people, things and even doubt in your mind to steal your heart back to his ways. The seeds that are sown in your heart will either take root on good soil, which is a heart fully surrendered to the Lord. Or, they will be sown in places where the word is snatched away from you until you fall away. These types of battles are fought in the world but involve the spiritual forces of darkness that exist in the invisible realm around you.”

“You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:25-26‬ ‭(nlt)

“Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭16:13-14‬

Andrea crouch wrote this song:   🎼🎶🎹

“I thank God for the mountains,

and I thank Him for the valleys,

I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.

For if I’d never had a problem,

I wouldn’t know God could solve them,

I’d never know what faith in God could do.”

The Solid Rock

DO YOU KNOW WHY THE FOLLOWING SONG SHOULD BE AT THE TOP OF YOUR LIST?
(1) Because if you’re a goody-two shoes, you’d better wise up and realize that without Christ’s precious blood, it makes no difference how good you think you are;
(2) If you haven’t given your heart and life to Christ, your only hope is in Him, not on suddenly thinking positive thoughts all the time, being happy-happy and reading self help books.
🎼🎶🎹
“My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand.
“When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
in ev’ry high and stormy gale
my anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand.”
(Edward Mote)

When the Father saw his youngest son coming back home, a kid who had rejected him, spent all his money, had been living in a pig pen and smelled to high heaven, he “had great compassion for him, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said to his father, ‘I have sinned ….'”
Like 15:20-21

“THE SHOE IS PERFECT”

DADDY TOOK MY HORSE, SMOKEY, TO THE BLACKSMITH TO GET NEW SHOES. I was about 7 years old, in 1945.  With wide-eyes I watched as the blacksmith put iron in the fire.  He left it there until it got red hot.  Then he pulled it out with a big, long wrench or something, and placed it on the anvil – red hot!  He beat and  banged on it until sparks began to fly! Because the iron was so hot it was kinda soft. He hammered and hammered and he twisted it into a horseshoe. He already knew Smokey’s size.  He put it in the water and it sizzled. He made 4 of them.  Smokey just stood there watching. As a little kid, I was wide-eyed.  When the blacksmith put them on Smokey, he was happy. Smokey was happy, too.
  1. I thought this was gonna be really bad with all the fire, noise and beating. Maybe Smokey did, too.
  2. Daddy knew exactly who to go to for brand new shoes.
  3. Daddy loved Smokey and so did I.  In a way, I think the blacksmith did, in his own way.
  4. Neither Daddy nor the blacksmith would dare to hurt Smokey.
  5. The blacksmith knew what he was doing and in no way would he hurt Smokey.
  6. I learned some lessons from that day.
    a.  GOD DOES NOT cause us to suffer;
    b.  He uses many circumstances and crises to make our life better;
    c.  Since He is LOVE, he knows just the right things to do to make the “shoe” fit;
    d.  He perfectly understands that things may look scary, but all in all the shoes He puts on us will protect us when we run over rough ground.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (kjv)

🎼🎶

“When I am swept by the tempests of life,
Jesus is all I need.
Peace He imparts whatsoever the strife,
Jesus is all I need.
“All that I need He will always be.
All that I need till His face I see.
All that I need thro’ eternity.
Jesus is all I need.”
(James Rowe)

The Amazing WORD!

DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS SO AMAZING ABOUT THE BIBLE?

It doesn’t hide or shade the TRUTH!

It is as clear as a bell about:

•Who God created – male & female;

•Who should be worshipped – Him!

•Murder – Don’t.

•Lying – Don’t

•Theft – Don’t

•Homosexuality – NO! It’s an

abomination 

•Drunkenness – No

•Prostitution – No

•Love – without conditions

•Marriage – man-woman

•Angels – they are here, are sent

only by God’s instructions

•Satan & Demons – they are here, not

omnipotent, not omniscient, and not

omnipresent

•Spiritual rebirth – necessary

•The Father – He is God

•The Holy Spirit – He is God

•Jesus – He is God

•Father, Son, Holy Spirit – three in one

and one in three/a mystery

•The miracles of Jesus; – written & believed

•Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – YES!

•And thousands of

other events and beliefs – Hallelujah!

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

Hebrews 4:12 (nlt)

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 (niv)

THE FORGOTTEN PAIN

THEY WHIPPED JESUS. THEY HUMILIATED HIM WITH TAUNTS. THEY SPAT ON HIM.  THEY SHOUTED SNEERING INSULTS. THEY LAUGHED AT HIM.

But there was a stabbing pain of the soul not recorded in Scripture.  Oh it’s there alright, but very little or nothing is written about the hurt, the disappointment Jesus felt when Judas stooped low in his betrayal for a measly 30 pieces of silver.  Jesus loved Judas. He occupied an important position as treasurer of the group.

Jesus told the assembled disciples, “‘One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:20-21‬ ‭(msg)

It could have been any one of them.  Jesus didn’t name the guy because he didn’t want to embarrass anyone.

If your husband or wife or friend betrayed you, would you publicly hold them up for ridicule?  Jesus would never hold anyone up for public embarrassment.  He knew  the unexplainable pain of disaffection and deception.

“Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, ‘It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?’ Jesus said, ‘Don’t play games with me, Judas.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:25‬ ‭(msg)

Although nothing is mentioned of Jesus’ feelings at the time, but can’t you just feel Christ’s mixture of anger and hurt.

Arrogantly taking someone for a chump creates a toxic emotional poison in body and mind.  You may have read my article on oxytocin, a hormone associated with betrayal and revenge (“Love hath no fury like a woman scorned!”)  Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus.  In my book, WRITE IT ON MY HEART, I address the issue more completely, but suffice it to say that if you betray her or him, you better watch out!  In fact, if either of you starts to nibble around the edges of moral certitude, you’re a goner. Something crazy,  along with destructive emotions begin to happen and all hell will break loose. Your sins will find you out.   Have you noticed it in real life? Oxytocin & Cortisol – Tiger Woods, John Gotti, Charlie Sheen, and countless others great and small are gluttons for punishment?

Write It On My Heart – Speaking Truth in Love

No, I’m not a molecular biologist so don’t get all freaked out thinking this is an illustrious article with ibids, op cits and quotes from noted scientists, PhD’s, DD’s, MD’s, DVD’s, and other learned D’s past, present and future.  Cortisol is a hormone finding its origin in the hypothalamus which then tells the pituitary gland to shoot out Oxytocin, known as the DEATH HORMONE. I think the medical name for it is hydrocortisone. Sometime, old people have too much of it, and then they kick the bucket.   IT CAN BE TRIGGERED BY GUILT!

It is a “stress” hormone.  Cortisol, the hormone,  can increase blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety and other stuff.  From a “ministerial” (😊) perspective, I might even jump to this conclusion: since guilt is  “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined,” tragic consequences occur in your body, daily activities and in your thinking.

We know – it is proven – that the mind affects the body. I would submit that your spirit affects both mind and body.  The Psalmist wrote:  “Then I let it all out; I said, ‘I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to GOD.’   Suddenly the pressure was gone— my GUILT dissolved, my sin disappeared.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭32:5‬

CORTISOL is the Death Hormone. Oxytocin is the betrayal/revenge Hormone.  It could be that Jeremiah is addressing this thought:

“All … your friends have forgotten you. They don’t care about you. I have hurt you as an enemy would. I punished you very hard, because your GUILT was so great and your sins were so many. Why are you crying out about your injury? There is no cure for your pain. I did these things to you because of your great GUILT, because of your many sins.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭30:14-15‬

“Let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. … in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, GUILT, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-57‬

Jesus, being fully human as well as fully God, most assuredly had a broken heart beyond words when Judas betrayed him. But think of Judas – he “threw the silver coins into the Temple and left. Then he went out and hung himself.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27:5‬ ‭(msg)

Oh the hurt that Jesus felt!

Humpty Dumpty

“ALL THE KING’S HORSES

and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty

Together again “

You may seem to be irreparably broken.

Your life may be a wreck.

You may be feeling desperately hopeless.

The evil one is trying every trick in his book to discourage you; to make you lose faith.

Don’t let him. He’s a deceiver.

On the other hand, The Great God of Heaven, The Creator, Comforter, our Savior, the El Shaddai is the

Son of Righteousness;

He’s the King of Glory;

The firmament shows his handiwork;

He’s full of love;

He’s merciful;

His grace is forever.

He’s enduringly strong.

He’s eternally graceful.

He’s imperially powerful.

He’s impartially merciful.

He’s my Friend!

He’s your Friend.

He makes a way when there is no way.

“‘He will not break a crushed blade of grass or put out even a weak flame until he makes justice win the victory. In him will the non-Jewish people find hope.’”

Matthew 12:20-21

He’s the God who can; El Shaddai!

🎼🎶🎹

“Through his love and through the ram,

He saved the Son of Abraham;

Through the power of his hand,

Turned the sea into dry land.

To the outcast on her knees,

He was the God who really sees,

And by his might,

He set his children free.

“El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

El-elyon na adonai,

Age to age you’re still the same,

By the power of the name.

El shaddai, El Shaddai,

Erkamka na adonai,

I will praise you ’till I die,

El Shaddai.”

(Card & Thompson)

“‘I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”

Matthew 28:20

 

LIFE CHANGING

THE KING PASSED BY – 

It was interesting, but not life-changing.  We were sitting outside having dinner at a restaurat in Carmel, CA.  A motorcycle CHP officer drove up and parked.  I thought about telling him that this was not Dunkin’ Donuts. Then two more drove up – I was outnumbered.

A rather old looking Suburban parked right behind the motorcycles.  Doesn’t that guy know what he’s doing?  Then two more nicer looking Suburbans parked behind theold one.  For about 5 minutes nothing happened.  Then a few guys exited the cars while the motorcycle cops milled around.  We continued to eat.

Our server came to our table.  We asked what in the samhill was going on.  She didn’t know. That’s the state of most of us. “We know nuttin’!”

Then a little short guy opened the door of the old Suburban, walked back to the new one, opened the door and entered. He remained in the new one for about one minute, exited the far side, and as a few big guys surrounded him he walked by our table and entered the restaurant; within 6 feet of us.

IT WAS THE KING OF JORDAN!

We continued to eat. It was interesting, but not life-changing.

On July 4, 1956, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords walked by my heart.  Determinedly and passionately I followed him to the altar. He showed me his heart, his hands and side.  He said,

“Come unto me, … and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your soul.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-29‬ ‭

I confessed. I surrendered and said,

“Just as I am, without one plea

But that thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

(Charlotte Elliott)

THE KING PASSED BY!  MY LIFE CHANGED!

Heartbreaking Hunger

DO YOU REMEMBER SEEING ON TV THE ABJECT HUNGER AND STARVATION OF THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE in 1984 and 2017?  It was heart wrenching!  Adults and children were lying on the streets slowly dying, nothing more than bones  sheathed with parched skin.

God placed in our body the desire for food.  If you lose your normal, natural hunger and thirst, illness and possibly death may take place.  God also put in the soul of his crowning creation a hunger and thirst for a deep, settled peace.  If you lose your desire for inner peace, a seared conscience takes place.  When you have no desire to act on the hunger that Jesus gives, you may “eat and still be hungry,” as it says in The Book of Hosea 4:10.

Many will try to assuage their grief, fear, anger, and guilt with escapism into alcohol, drugs, money, power or multiple relationships.  Others who recognize their spiritual hunger will ignore it by gravitating to a form of Godliness while denying the power thereof.

Physical hunger tells your body that you need food while spiritual hunger is as Isaiah says:  “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.”

Isaiah 26:9 (niv).

The Psalmist prayed (42:1-4):

“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? ….” The Psalmist continues, “My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: ….”

Thank God, there is an answer.  “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED.”

Matthew 5:6 (nkjv)

🎼🎶🎹

“Longing, longing for Jesus.

I have a longing in my heart for him.

Just to be near him,

To feel his presence,

I have have a longing in my heart for him.”

What About Prayer

“Sometimes prayer is spontaneous and takes a variety of physical positions. All of these examples illustrate acceptable ways of prayer. Scripture commands us to proclaim God’s greatness by means of our bodies. Here are a few additional examples of ways God is pleased with our worship.

  • Some danced and sang their prayers as Miriam did (Exodus 15:20).
  • The Israelites bowed their heads in gratitude and worship (Exodus 12:27).
  • Job fell to the ground to petition God (Job 1:20).
  • The Levites stood and praised the Lord with a loud shout (2 Chronicles 20:19).
  • “For the choir director: A psalm … Come, everyone, and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise!” (Psalm 47:1).
  • “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker” (Psalm 95:6).
  • “Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp” (Psalm 149:3). “So wherever you assemble, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy” (1 Timothy 2:8).

We see clapping, shouting, kneeling, dancing, playing instruments, standing in awe, raising hands, and lying down. Clearly all these actions are acceptable and appropriate in the worship of God. God is pleased and hears our prayers no matter how we pray. The important thing is that we come to Him in humility with a sincere heart and not in a showy fashion.”

 

Definition – “Socially, kneeling, similar to bowing, is associated with reverence, respect, submission and obeisance, particularly if one kneels before a person who is standing or sitting: the kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee.”

 

“There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” THEN,AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN APPEARED and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:40-44‬ ‭(nlt)

Did you get that? When he prayed, an angel appeared!